Nobody can deny the Jacksonville Jaguars have talent at the offensive skill positions. In fact, the offense may be among the NFL’s best.
Sometimes you can’t have too much of a good thing. The Jacksonville Jaguars certainly think so with a running back stable and wide receiving corps that is stocked full of talent.
From Allen Robinson to Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee, and from Leonard Fournette to Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, the Jaguars have strong players at the top of the depth chart and solid contributors further down. The only position without a clear front-runner is tight end – and any one of those guys can be solid contributors behind the receivers and running backs.
So, just how good are the Jags skill position players? According to ESPN, they’re good enough for 13th in the NFL. Writes Bill Barnwell:
"The Jags have their fourth new starting running back in as many years, but fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette should stick. He could close out games for a Jaguars team that has blown seven games in which they led entering the fourth quarter over the past three seasons, a figure topped only by the Chargers (10). While both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns had disappointing 2016 seasons, the Jags got a surprisingly effective campaign from Marqise Lee, giving them a trio of young wideouts for other teams to worry about. So much still depends on Blake Bortles, but the weapons aren’t the problem in Jacksonville."
Fournette is still an unknown and that’s okay. So long as he isn’t a Trent Richardson-level bust, the Jaguars should have an upgrade at running back.
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As per usual, though, it’s the receivers that steal the show. Lee, Hurns, and Robinson are a frustrating threesome for opposing defenses to deal with. That down year that Barnwell notes for Robinson? 883 yards and six touchdowns. That’s the kind of down year that receivers and teams dream of.
2016 clouds the judgment of many who don’t follow the Jags. They see a team that regressed to the point of irrelevance. NFL coaches know better and the Jaguars faithful know better, too. The skill players are just a good training camp away from jumping right back to where they left off.
And that should be frightening for everyone else, because this group of players could easily jump from 13th into the top five after one good season of production. Right now, they’re sleepers.